The recruiting reality is that passive cleared candidates are often the most coveted, and also the most difficult to hire. Individuals with competitive skills, especially those with specific cyber skills or clearance levels, are almost always already employed. How do you market your company to those candidates effectively?Here are our top five tips:

Because passive cleared candidates aren’t actively looking for work they may not have the most robust or complete profile. Target your search by specific credentials, clearance level or experience, and make sure your initial contact with a passive job seeker is about networking – not just a job offer. Passive candidates will be much more likely to respond to your initial contact if you’re also willing to offer your knowledge and expertise. That then opens the door for them to share additional details about their background and potential job interests.

Know the cleared industry

And we don’t just mean the recruiting and HR trends – follow the same news sources and look for information resources relevant to your key hiring demographics. This will help you to be an intelligent and compelling contact for passive candidates, and keep you tuned into trends that may make passives more willing to make a move.

Improve your company and personal brand

The fact is you’ll need to make a compelling case in order to lure a passive candidate away from their current job and into the better opportunity you’re offering. One of the best ways to make a good impression is to have a dynamic company profile, including updating your logo as needed, providing relevant company information and ensuring everything is up-to-date. The same goes for your personal brand and profile. The new Cleared Network profiles give you more opportunities to present yourself well, from your profile and cover photo to a status message that gives insight into your hiring needs. You can bet that if a passive candidate checks out your profile and finds little information and no photo, they’re not likely to respond to your query.

Make it easy

Make it easy for a candidate to apply, and give them a second shot if they botch an initial contact. I’ve spoken with many recruiters who say they give candidate one chance – if that individual blows off a phone screening or fails to submit the appropriate paperwork, they’re done. That strategy may work in less in-demand industries but if you’re vying for competitive talent you’re going to have to give a little wiggle room. Keep in mind that a passive candidate has another full time job. If they get pulled into a meeting and miss a phone screening, see that as a sign of their commitment to their work – a skill they will bring to the table with your company.

“As a program manager for a small defense consulting company, I need to quickly and accurately source well qualified candidates to meet my customers’ requirements—accuracy and speed is paramount to the pace of this business. So, I have a direct program management engagement strategy for sourcing candidates—I conduct careful, targeted searches for and contact with well-qualified, cleared candidates myself, then I pass the very best to our business staff for final recruiting and hiring. ClearanceJobs is an ideal source for these targeted searches—a great source for resumes of well qualified, cleared professionals who’ve taken the time to post their qualifications and job interests.“Robert A. Harrington, Program Manager, Defense Operations Services, Compass, Inc.

Build a cleared talent community is the premier community for cleared job seekers. But if all you’re doing is searching for resumes each time you have a requirement, you’re missing out on one of the best elements the site offers. Did you know you can build your own targeted talent community through the Cleared Network? Create folders of candidates with notes about how the candidate fits into your hiring needs now or why he or she may be an ideal fit later. Develop a list of top-tier targeted talent, and stay in touch with those individuals with regular messages – but not just ones about your hiring needs. You can create multiple folders for various hiring needs to help you organize your best talent. Then simply add and delete new potential hires as needed. New Cleared Network groups are being launched weekly and offer an excellent opportunity to find talent. Post group messages and search for targeted talent through those niche communities.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer